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Oh what fun it is to run! Injury free tips for running during the holidays

By Matthew Hicks from NAB RunWest partner physiotherapists and injury management specialists, Sydney West Sports Medicine:

Oh what a festive time of year filled with family, friends and food. Those Christmas kilos may be expanding the waistline and there is no better time than the holidays to work back into that swimsuit ready body! For many, running is the perfect way to get back in shape and entering and preparing for NAB RunWest is the perfect New Year’s Resolution. Keep reading below for tips to stay injury-free over Summer:

  1. It’s Hot Out Here

It’s Australia, it’s Summer and it’s hot. Make sure you pick the right time of day to hit the pavement. Like our water restrictions, run before 10AM or after 5PM to stay away from the heat. If it’s a real scorcher (40+ degrees) it is much safer to hit the gym or the pool instead where it is cooler.

  1. Be Smoke Aware and Stay Safe

Unfortunately, there have already been terrible bushfires all across NSW this Summer. Sydney has been blanketed in smoke on multiple days. It is best to avoid being outside on days with poor air quality as it can be detrimental to your health, especially if you have an underlying heart or lung condition. You can easily check your area’s air quality online to make a good decision about whether to exercise outdoors here.

Stay safe when running around bushland. Using the Rural Fire Service App “Fires Near Me” can keep you up to date on the latest fire alerts and which places to avoid.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Make sure you are drinking water before, during and after your run. Listen to your body and if you are feeling light-headed, dizzy or unwell you have overdone it. Dehydration can become a medical emergency if not treated properly. We will post another article over the coming weeks specifically addressing this topic.

  1. Take Your Time

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will you “be fit” after a single run. Build the number of runs, distance and speed up slowly over the holidays.

  1. Get Strong

It is a common misconception that “runners” don’t need to do strength training. Muscle strength is a key foundation of running well. Avoid strength training at your peril. Over the Christmas holidays add in some squats, lunges, bridges, planks and calf raises into your routine to build up those muscles. You can’t go wrong with getting strong!

Our thoughts and well wishes go out to our fire-stricken communities and the NSW Rural Fires Services in this very challenging time.  We wish everyone a happy and most importantly safe holiday season!